Beautiful High Desert Photography Tour
Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Monument Valley
April 21-27, 2018
The iconic landmarks of Arches and Canyonlands National Park and Monument Valley are known throughout the world and have been the subject of photographers for many years. This red rock landscape sits in the northern region of the Colorado Plateau in southeastern Utah but offers so much more than those iconic shots. This workshop will put photographers on location to photograph these landmarks along with many other beautiful breathtaking scenery often overlooked by others.
The contrasting colors of this region gives photographers an array of palettes to work. The saturated warm hues of red, orange and yellow sandstone glow while the blending shadows cast cooler hues forming a colorful composition. These contrasting colors make for some wonderful black and white photography for those who wish to stray for a short while from the colorful landscape. The conversion takes place in post processing but the concept is formed in the field where special attention is given to shadow and highlights and how they play into the finished black and white image.
Our small group size provides the freedom of working at a leisurely pace giving each participant generous amount of time for one on one instruction. Participants learn how to apply what they learn into their work flow with guidance and encouragement each day we spend together. Regardless of your skill level, this workshop is open to all. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a camera and a smile and enjoy a fun and rewarding experience.
What you can expect. You can expect to be the focus of attention. Your photography is paramount and it’s my job to provide the answers that allow you to grow as a photographer. Participants receive lots of one on one instruction in the field along with group discussions. You’ll discover the artist within and build on your skills. Mastering your tools in the field and knowing what they can do for you is the foundation to a successful photo journey. Photographers want to be behind their camera therefore I make every effort to maximize our time in the field and teach with a hands on approach. Learning to see and knowing what to do once you identify your subject is the stepping stone to building a work of art. Classroom sessions will be kept to a minimum. We’ll have an afternoon session on the third day giving us time for a critique and an opportunity for me to introduce participants to my workflow from beginning to end. You’ll be introduced to processing software such as DXO Optics Pro, Lightroom, Photo Mechanic and Adobe Bridge and you can decide which works best for you. For those interested and time permitting we can look at several creative software programs that provide the photographer the creative freedom to explore beyond the standard photograph, (i.e. Nik Collection, Topaz, Alien Skin, Auto FX and MacPhun). HDR photography will be explored both in the field and in post processing. We’ll look at the different HDR programs and let you decide which one best fits your style, (i.e. Aurora HDR Pro, Photomatix and Nik HDR). Join me and let your creativity flow.
Itinerary. Our daily schedule will vary depending on location and weather. Light is the most important ingredient to a rewarding photo shoot. You can expect early mornings and photograph throughout the good morning light. If the weather conditions are favorable for photography throughout the day you can bet we’ll take advantage of it. When afternoon light works against us we’ll take in a critique session and some informal classroom instruction. Late afternoon and into early evening we’ll be back out in the field for more hands on photography instruction and shooting opportunities.
Sunday, April 21, 2018: Arrive at Grand Junction Airport by 12 noon. Evening photo shoot in Arches National Park.
Mon – Wed, April 22-25: Photograph in Arches and Canyonlands National Park. Wednesday we will have a late morning departure for Monument Valley.
Wednesday, April 25: (see option 1 and Option 2 below) Overnight at Hunt’s Messa (camping under the stars, camp gear is provided). For those not able to camp we will provide alternate photography plans for the evening.
Thursday, April 26: AM departure from Hunt’s Mesa and return to Monument Valley Hotel. Evening photoshoot at famous Mittens overlook into Monument Valley.
Friday, April 27: Morning departure for Grand Junction Airport.
One of many highlights of this tour will be photographing the warm beautiful light streaming across the landscape high on top of Hunts Mesa at sunset and sunrise. This unique opportunity will require us to camp under the stars with incredible views of the valley and towering buttes lit by a nearing full moon (78% Waxing Gibbous). Our overnight on Hunts Mesa is a guided adventure with camping gear, steak dinner, and breakfast included. Fee for this option is included in tour fee. (You may want to bring your own sleeping matte).
Or, for those who don’t want to camp, we have arranged a guided sunrise and sunset tour of Mystery Valley for you. Our guided tour is led by the Philips family, a well-known Navajo family, familiar with the needs of serious photographers. You will see and photograph spectacular locations off limits to the general public. The fee for this guided tour is also included in tour fee. You may choose to do one or the other of the two options listed above. Participants who choose this option will be charged an addition $150. for the additional night of hotel lodging.
Tour schedule. I ask participants to arrange their airport arrival by 1 p.m. at designated airport. From here we will make our way to our hotel, get settled in and then take in a late afternoon photoshoot. The next several days begin with early morning light, sunrise in most cases, on location and enjoy the solitude and beauty before our cameras. I will provide one on one instruction. I’ll make my rounds to each photographer and work with the specific needs of that photographer. One on one instruction is something every participant can be assured of at every location, every day, and anytime one feels the need to discuss technical and/or creative issues at hand. The last morning of photo tour, if time permits we’ll take in a last morning photo shoot, or pack up before breakfast and head our way back to the airport. Plan on your flight departure no earlier than 3 pm. The drive from Monument Valley to Grand Junction is a little over 4 hours.